India commits to Buddhist tourism

Dr Mahesh Sharma addresses the Buddhist Conclave
Dr Mahesh Sharma addresses the Buddhist Conclave

India’s government has pledged to develop its Buddhist sites for tourism.

Addressing the fifth International Buddhist Conclave, India’s Minister of Tourism & Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma, told delegates that his country was in the process of creating a “Buddhist Circuit”, connecting a series of pilgrimage sites.

Delivering his inaugural address to delegates from 39 countries, Dr Sharma asserted that “the solution of all modern day problems lies in Buddhism”.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords “very high priority” to Buddhism, he added, before informing delegates about the major investment which has already been committed to India’s Buddhist tourism circuit, which have mainly been used to improve infrastructure and facilities at key sites.

The Delhi event was also attended by Chavanee Tongroach, Thailand’s Vice Minister of Tourism & Sports, Marcio Favilla, the UNWTO’s executive director, among other dignitaries.

The Buddhist circuit is one of a series of tourism projects being undertaken by India, as part of the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ initiative, which aims to create tourism circuits by combining different sites by region or sector.

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